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Photographer
TheoAllen Photography
Posts: 49
San Diego, California, US


Greetings all, I have a friends sister wanting boudoir shots next year (april-ish) and I havent shot boudoir. I dont specialize in any one type of photography. You can refer to my portfolio for some of the "models" I've shot.


Anyways, Im wondering if anyone has tips or references on lighting, poses, etc. on budget. I know a everything depends on the look shes going for (lighting etc)


Thanks all
Dec 02 12 01:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Good Egg Productions
Posts: 15,103
Orlando, Florida, US


Use shadows. Less is more.

Natural light though a large window usually looks nice. Or if you're using strobes, larger soft boxes closer to the model and gridded spots to act as rim lights from further away look nice. Larger aperture shots to blur parts of the scene.

There are no rules, only what looks nice.
Dec 02 12 02:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TheoAllen Photography
Posts: 49
San Diego, California, US


Good call thanks for the heads up. im still reading/ looking at stuff online. a lot of interesting stuff.
Dec 02 12 02:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DraganSutic
Posts: 304
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


What Good Egg said ..... also in post you can tweak saturation to make the colors of her lingerie pop if you have white sheets.
Dec 02 12 02:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TheoAllen Photography
Posts: 49
San Diego, California, US


DraganSutic wrote:
What Good Egg said ..... also in post you can tweak saturation to make the colors of her lingerie pop if you have white sheets.

much appreciated. lmk if you think of anything else later on. after i figure out a location ill post on the casting for a model to practice with.

Dec 02 12 02:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ForeverFotos
Posts: 6,620
Indianapolis, Indiana, US


Props....lotsa props. Anything a model can hold onto will make her feel more comfortable. Pillows (the more decorative the better) and stuffed animals will add color and a playful mood to your shots. You can also use standing decorative screens to help cover bare walls and give a classy look to your shots. Here's some ideas.....

Pillows, pillows, and more pillows:
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110928/12/4e8376ab56bbd.jpg

Decorative screens make great backgrounds:
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/080216/19/47b77d4505b7d.jpg

You can never have too many decorative screens:
http://a1.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/22/5d94ed30220d47c1acd31cc0cdbcb7bc/l.jpg

http://a2.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/16/77eeda3ee1f74606819e5e30bb4e0540/l.jpg

Fake furs can add color and a luxurious look:
http://a1.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/34/8f654ed7502a4a7090c219ab498a77ef/l.jpg
Dec 02 12 02:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
F8 Productions
Posts: 69
Chicago, Illinois, US


For me, I would agree that natural light coming in through a large window gives that nice, soft feel that works well for boudoir.  The best sessions I've had were in the mid to late afternoon and the window had a sheer curtain across it to soften the light a touch.  This made for some extra control on the shadows and an overall great shoot.

As far as the posing goes, I always ask the client what they feel their best attribute (physically) is as well as their tolerance from being risque.  From there, I do my best to highlight those attributes.  Otherwise, doing a goole image search for "boudoir photo" will yield some ideas for posing.

F8 Productions, Inc.
Dec 02 12 02:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,206
Salem, Oregon, US


boudoir can cover such a broad range of styles from glamour to pinup to lingerie to fitness ...

so i think the first thing would be to figure out an appropriate style and whether that maybe needs to be done in a bedroom or hotel room.

for lingerie shoots i try do really shallow DOF and interesting angles and tight crops. if the lady has a tummy then try to hide that (get them on their tummy) or do more head and boobs.

i find boudoir very challenging to shoot.  see if you can get some practice in before the big day.

here's some of our work (but we can't show most of the customer shoots for privacy reasons):
http://boudoir.crendophoto.com

christa meola does some interesting work with her customers.

have someone get you a free trial on zivity (any member can do that). lots of great examples on there.
Dec 02 12 02:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Loki Studio
Posts: 2,887
Royal Oak, Michigan, US


Tips

1) Use sample photos to discuss style, clothing, posing, location, and level of sexiness with the model.
2) Practice your lighting techniques with non-models/clients to gain experience before the shoot.
3) Collect and analyze sample photos from Victoria's Secret, Maxim, FHM, and Playboy to figure out the key elements that make them industry leaders in glamour photography.
Dec 02 12 03:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,249
Atlanta, Georgia, US


The thing about boudoir photography as a business is that you are not working with professional models, they don't know how to pose.  It takes a lot of practice to pose non models well, start working on that now.

The right poses, angles, and depth of field are important and different for each body type.  We have had a fair number of customers who were unhappy with what their wedding photographer attempted to produce, practice.

Have sample poses and images for them, every customer we have tends to one several of the "stock" boudoir poses (we have them on the wall as samples).  Our studio is also a boudoir specific studio with sets and props and not the same space I would use for commercial work.
Dec 02 12 03:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TheoAllen Photography
Posts: 49
San Diego, California, US


This may sound weird but has anyone used a ringlight? i have one hooked up to my sb700. Just wondering if you liked/disliked it and why.

Also thanks for all the input. Natural light seems like a good way to go. Im just exploring options. She wants to use a dirtbike in the shots as well.
Dec 02 12 04:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Loki Studio
Posts: 2,887
Royal Oak, Michigan, US


TheoAllen Photography wrote:
This may sound weird but has anyone used a ringlight? i have one hooked up to my sb700. Just wondering if you liked/disliked it and why.

Also thanks for all the input. Natural light seems like a good way to go. Im just exploring options. She wants to use a dirtbike in the shots as well.

A real ringlight and attachment for your flash are not the same thing.  Real ringlights are great and flattering for young skinny models with good skin.  They are not as good for older or wider models.

-Scott

Dec 03 12 11:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Carlos Occidental
Posts: 10,544
Pasadena, California, US


Find out exactly what she wants.  Most females who want boudoir photographs want them to be more glamour than art. 
Look what google has for boudoir photography, show her, and see what she likes.  I'm betting she'll want over lit glamour over art, but you can possibly persuade her either way, unless she's paying you, then give her what she wants. 
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=bo … iwLi8oCwCQ

TheoAllen Photography wrote:
She wants to use a dirtbike in the shots as well.

She wants over lit glamour.  But, since she wants the dirtbike in the shot as well, you'll probably have to use natural light.  Try to bring some strobes or at least speedlights with you to fill in the shadows.  An overcast day will be easier to shoot than high noon sun.  Since this is your first time, offer a re-shoot or two 'till she's absolutely happy with the results.  Sometimes, when first starting out, you just don't get it right the first time.
Bring your ringlight.

Not that they aren't nice anymore, but through the window boudoir shots are more cliche than railroad tracks or caution tape.  Unless they're done extremely well, I'd pass trying this style. 

Tell her to work on her facial expressions in the mirror before the shoot.  Very important.  Don't shoot another decent shot that could have been good because she doesn't know how to emote.
Just find out through examples what she wants.

Dec 03 12 04:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Photos by Lorrin
Posts: 6,912
Eugene, Oregon, US


Soft lighting helps hide small flaws in skin.
Dec 03 12 05:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 20,859
Portland, Oregon, US


I always like the richly dressed sets, with lots of draping fabrics.  Satin is always popular.  Nice color palette is a good thing.  Take a step back & include a lot of the setting in some of your exposures.

If she's not experienced as a model, give her something to hold in her hand, like a taper used while lighting a candle or a glass of wine.

Think in terms of a story -- is she seducing the viewer?  How is she doing this?

Finally, in general, less is more -- "implied" is more exciting than "nude" in this case.

Good luck.
Dec 03 12 06:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
291
Posts: 11,911
SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, California, US


TheoAllen Photography wrote:
Anyways, Im wondering if anyone has tips...

some i'm sure will disagree but if the shot isn't sending a come fuck me message it's just a picture.  that doesn't mean spread with pink, it's all about the want of sophistication to fulfill the viewer fantasy. 

what other objective is there in this setting?

Dec 03 12 06:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Guss W
Posts: 10,580
Clearwater, Florida, US


Look up all you can on "corrective lighting and posing".  Not everyone is a model.  That doesn't mean they can't be sexy subjects.
Dec 03 12 11:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
afplcc
Posts: 5,971
Fairfax, Virginia, US


TheoAllen Photography wrote:
Greetings all, I have a friends sister wanting boudoir shots next year (april-ish) and I havent shot boudoir. I dont specialize in any one type of photography. You can refer to my portfolio for some of the "models" I've shot.


Anyways, Im wondering if anyone has tips or references on lighting, poses, etc. on budget. I know a everything depends on the look shes going for (lighting etc)


Thanks all

1.  Boudoir can mean a lot of things.  To an amateur model, it can mean "I mean nude but I don't want to sound slutty or porno so we're going to call it Boudoir."  Or it could mean "I've had 3 kids and 2 C-sections, put on 20 pounds I couldn't lose and have a skin problem--please make me look sexy and romantic without exposing any skin other than my shoulders and my face."  Or somewhere in-between.  Seriously--get very clear and specific with the model about what she is open.

2.  Soft light is your friend.  it flatters.  It takes years off of people and hides skin flaws and scars.

3.  Less truly is more--whatever poster said that, I want to acknowledge that and second it.  I do a lot of DoF for boudoir work.  I also cover up lingerie (put the model in a man's dress shirt and tie so we just just a hint of a bra, or have her peeking out from under a sheet.  Now your client may want shots that are a "classy version of playboy" or something like that--if so, go for the full monty.  But for a lot of amateurs, you'll get better results by hinting at or showing just a glimpse.  Using shadow is another thought.

3.  Look to create right atmosphere.  The best boudoir work from my perspective (keeping in mind it can mean almost anything to anyone) is work that has a romantic or sexy feel to it.

4.  Facial expressions can be critical here.  Ask most amateurs to look sexy and their expression resembles what you'd see on somewhat with a stomach ache and about to heave.  So for those women I'll tell them "I want you to look like you've got a secret...one you know and I don't."  Or "look shy--look away from me and then just give me a quick glance as if you're hoping I won't catch you looking."  Almost all women tend to look extremely sexy when they look shy or secretive.  Another posing tip is you can tell the model to play with something.  Some women are great at playing with their hands (like biting a nail or chewing on one side of their lips or twirling their hair or fiddling with a bra strap).  With an amateur model, it can convey some kind of thought.

5.  Don't ignore props.  You can pose a nude/implied/demure nude model surrounded by her underwear.  Or give her something to do with her hands (hold a champagne flute, smell a rose).  These are simple props yet very effective.  And first-time models often don't know what to do with their hands.

6.  I tend to be a minimalist about jewelry.  But one thing that I will tell most models is that a small crucifix on a thin chain is, perversely, like a neon light pointing to their cleavage saying "HERE--LOOK!!!".  A long strand of fake pearls also works well ($1 at a costume or party store).

Also, just saw the post about the dirtbike.  I think you can go two directions on this:  show pinup (nice, shiny, in a garage or show setting with her glammed up posing with the bike in a range of pinup poses) or the reverse--the bike in its' element (outdoors, splattered with mud) and she's got a more natural look (less makeup, no jewelry, hair a bit windblown).  Lots of possible story lines for the second concept:  her clothes are dirty and she's striping down (but she somehow managed to magically avoid getting a lot of mud on her skin).  Or she's hosing off the bike and wanted to keep her clothes dry.  Or she got muddy too so she's cleaning up (and you're shooting the "wet look" with her....hint:  it will probably work better if you cover her with body oil first and then put a little water for it to bead and also get her body reflecting light and looking "wet").

Ed

Dec 04 12 04:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
FlirtynFun Photography
Posts: 12,876
Houston, Texas, US


First, let me say thank you....you're not posting in General saying you've been asked to shoot a wedding this weekend for the first time and you want to know what "f-stop to use". LOL

Several great suggestions above. One thing I've found over the years is that although every woman is different, every woman likes to look and feel sexy and most women are insecure about themselves in some way.
It's your job to help her feel sexy through photography and help reduce/eliminate insecurities with positive reinforcement throughout the shoot.
I'd sit down with her beforehand and show plenty of examples of poses/outfits etc. that she may like.
Dec 04 12 04:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Drew Smith Photography
Posts: 5,209
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom


Youtube is your friend.

Leave plenty to the imagination.

Make sure she's warm.
Dec 04 12 04:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Hero Foto
Posts: 878
Phoenix, Arizona, US


check out cousin Michael Zelbel @ smokingstrobes  ...
simple, CHEAP lighting, setups, tips & tricks ...
Dec 04 12 05:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
afplcc
Posts: 5,971
Fairfax, Virginia, US


FlirtynFun Photography wrote:
First, let me say thank you....you're not posting in General saying you've been asked to shoot a wedding this weekend for the first time and you want to know what "f-stop to use". LOL

Several great suggestions above. One thing I've found over the years is that although every woman is different, every woman likes to look and feel sexy and most women are insecure about themselves in some way.
It's your job to help her feel sexy through photography and help reduce/eliminate insecurities with positive reinforcement throughout the shoot.
I'd sit down with her beforehand and show plenty of examples of poses/outfits etc. that she may like.

Absolutely, 100%, spot-on.  Especially if the model is shooting this for someone else (a husband, a finance, a boyfriend) that they want to impress, especially for boudoir with a first-time model.

Ed

Dec 04 12 06:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,206
Salem, Oregon, US


i think some women say it's a gift for their man but really it's for them and they don't want to seem like julia roberts in pretty woman. there's a style of boudoir that is more voyeuristic and the girl is partly lost in shadows and maybe not even looking at the camera (as thought she's lost in thought waiting for a lover). there's also a style i call lesbian noir (artsy stuff that is cool but may leave the little friend unstirred). so many styles of boudoir and reasons for doing it.

for example when i do butt shots the customer usually says "my butt is huge, don't shoot that!" but then i'm like "well does your man like your butt?" and they say "oh, i see"

291 wrote:
some i'm sure will disagree but if the shot isn't sending a come fuck me message it's just a picture.  that doesn't mean spread with pink, it's all about the want of sophistication to fulfill the viewer fantasy.

Dec 04 12 05:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,206
Salem, Oregon, US


regarding the dirtbike we've had customers bring in all sorts of stuff including crossbows (two customers have done that), hunting rifles, snowboards, you name it. usually we just shoot those on-white and make it about the customer interacting with the prop in their lingerie or sportswear or swimwear and showing off that they are fit and sexy (it's really more of a fitness shoot than a boudoir shoot). that's a very different shoot from shadows in a bedroom.

check out 6"x6" adoramapix books. those can work well for boudoir and the COGs is low (vs. albums).
Dec 04 12 05:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
killer pinups
Posts: 1,163
Tacoma, Washington, US


Drew Smith Photography wrote:
Youtube is your friend.

Leave plenty to the imagination.

Make sure she's warm.

I second this. it will give you more information then any written words can and you'll be able to play them over and over again.

This may sound funny but when I'm trying something new with lights, I use a stuffed animal, preferably white or very light in color as my test subject.

Dec 04 12 05:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Virtual Studio
Posts: 5,478
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Hero Foto wrote:
check out cousin Michael Zelbel @ smokingstrobes  ...
simple, CHEAP lighting, setups, tips & tricks ...

Yes. These are very good.

Dec 05 12 06:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TheoAllen Photography
Posts: 49
San Diego, California, US


Thank you all, some good info in this thread. I am still looking for a location, I may half a room with another photog for a night at a hotel but we shall see. The hunt continues
Dec 06 12 09:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tricolorkittie
Posts: 113
Jacksonville, Florida, US


This is a very nice thread, so much good helpful advice I just wanted to +1 everybody!
Dec 09 12 03:22 am  Link  Quote 
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